Max Brill is a graduate of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business (2021).
He currently works for the Chicago Cubs as a Professional Scout.
Max has worked for the New York Mets as a Player Development Intern and the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod Baseball League as a beat writer. He has also contributed as an analyst for the Michigan Baseball Team and a Communications and PR intern for Michigan Athletics. Max was born and raised in the greatest city in the world, New York City, and grew up a die-hard Mets fan. He is the creator of Musings of a Baseball Addict.
How to contact Max:
The Case for the Hall: Todd Helton
Helton’s career was, for the most part, quietly great. He was not the subject of any controversy and once he earned the starting gig after the departure of Andres Galarraga, he just stayed on the field and hit. He was, without question, one of the best hitters in baseball during his tenure in the bigs—from 1999 to 2005, a span of seven seasons he triple-slashed .341/.442/.621—but never won an MVP award and only finished once in the top five. In 2000, unquestionably his best season, he triple-slashed .372/.463/.698 (!!!!), each leg of which led all major league players, and also hit 42 home runs and drove in a league-high 147 runs.
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The Case for the Hall: Scott Rolen
When all was said and done, Rolen finished his career as one of the best defensive third basemen of all-time who also carried an above-average bat for the majority of his career. The trouble is that Rolen was never seen as a team leader, and never led the league in any statistical categories. For voters that are all-in on triple crown stats, Rolen’s leave something to be desired—his 2077 hits would be the lowest total of any third baseman enshrined since World War II and his run and RBI totals are good, but nothing spectacular. Additionally, his reputation as a “clubhouse cancer,” as some teammates in Philadelphia referred to him, is doing him no favors.
The Case for the Hall: Andruw Jones
According to Fangraphs’ Defensive Runs Above Average stat (DEF), which attempts to measure a player’s value relative to others at his position and relative to other positions, Jones’ DEF is 278.8, first among all outfielders to ever play the game of baseball. Jones’ DEF is eons ahead of second place Willie Mays’ DEF, which is a mere 100 runs lower at 170.1. The gap between Jones’ 278.8 DEF and Mays’ 170.1 DEF is larger than the gap between Mays’ DEF and 27th-placed Chet Lemon’s 63.3 DEF. And Baseball Reference agrees with Fangraphs—they credit Jones with 234.7 runs saved from fielding, first among all outfielders ever.
The Case for the Hall: Larry Walker
Some people prefer to elect folks who had long careers only, but Walker was so good during his prime that the fact that he only played for 17 years should not come back to bite him. JAWS, which is a metric that takes a player’s career rWAR and averages it with their 7-year peak rWAR gives Walker a 58.7 JAWS. The average Hall of Fame right fielder has a JAWS of 57.8, which is right around what Walker has. Keep in mind that WAR already penalizes Walker for his home ballpark, so these numbers include an adjustment for Coors. I don’t like to use WAR as the be-all end-all stat, but it’s good to use as a benchmark and Walker measures up perfectly.
Time to Change it Up: An Examination of Changeup Usage and Effectiveness from 2015-2018
A 2010 study conducted by Dave Allen over at The Baseball Analysts suggested that all else equal, pitchers should try to avoid throwing their changeups to same-handed hitters and should be more willing to throw their changeups to opposite-handed hitters. 2010 was nearly a decade ago and baseball statistics, technology, and data manipulation have come quite far since then, so we figured we would investigate Allen’s claim that a changeup thrown to an opposite-handed hitter should be more effective than one thrown to a same-handed hitter. What we found was not what we expected.
Breaking Down Clayton Kershaw’s Contract Option
Clayton Kershaw, in his postgame presser after Sunday night’s World Series loss to the Boston Red Sox, told reporters that he had three days to think about whether he would opt out of the remainder of his seven-year, $215 million… Read More ›
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